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ELECTION: Aberdeenshire candidate hails commitment to protect Insch War Memorial Hospital and farming

By Kirsty Brown

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Scottish Conservative Alexander Burnett has hailed his party’s commitment to delivering for Aberdeenshire West.

The candidate for Aberdeenshire West says the pledges from party leader Douglas Ross show the Scottish Conservatives will put rural areas at the heart of decision making.

The party’s dedicated rural manifesto has committed to launching a full public consultation on a future funding model for farmers within 100 days of the election, putting an end to the uncertainty they have endured under the SNP.

The Scottish Conservatives will also re-open grant schemes for new entrants into the sector including the Young Farmers and New Entrants Start Up Grants as well as the New Entrants Capital Grant Scheme.

More broadly, the party are committed to delivering full fibre broadband to all premises by 2027, investing £550 million in Community Investment Deals worth up to £25million each to help create jobs.

The Scottish Conservatives will also enshrine a fair funding deal for local authorities into law and guarantee planning decisions made in Aberdeenshire would never be overturned in Edinburgh.

The party will also have a dedicated rural teacher fund as part of their drive to recruit 3,000 additional teachers across Scotland.

Mr Burnett is also pledging a local health guarantee to protect rural hospitals such as Insch to ensure patients across Deeside have access to services in their local community.

He said: “I am proud to be supporting my party’s rural manifesto.

"Over the last 14 years, the SNP have been too obsessed with the central belt and have ignored our rural communities.

“These wide-ranging policies outlined by Douglas Ross will deliver certainty for our farmers and the agricultural sector and help create jobs and protect vital public services in Aberdeenshire West.

“Our rural communities should be at the heart of the decision making-process.

"By guaranteeing a fair funding deal for our councils and investing millions in community growth, we have a plan to rebuild our economy in Deeside.

“That is where all our focus should be right now - on our recovery from Covid which has devastated our rural residents and businesses.

“If elected to represent Aberdeenshire West, I will be a strong voice for the needs of our rural areas.

“Only by giving your party list vote on the peach ballot to the Scottish Conservatives will you guarantee a Parliament that is fully focused on rebuilding our rural communities, rather than trying to break them up with another referendum under an SNP majority.”

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